The Exit Interview I’ll Never Give: Part 1

I quit my career. I ended my relationship. And I’m leaving California.

To tell you why is quite a story.

So let’s start… back at the beginning.

The second hand ticked, ever faster than before. My final loomed minutes away.

And yet, chained there to scribbled study guides, my focus wandered everywhere but. In a few short months, I would exit those double doors and stagger into the throes of PR, where I was sure to change the world.

That’s when I saw it.

A message so potent through a script with no words.

“THIS is what I want to do!” I screamed in my head. Something lit up in me, and I haven’t been able to turn it off since.

Strike one.

Screw you, Disney.

Okay. To be fair, Disney is not the devil here. But if there’s anything the golden age of animation taught me, it’s this:

Someday my prince will come. 

A hopeless romantic, I wore my heart on more than my sleeve; I might as well have tattooed it on my forehead. For over 14 years, I’ve chased the notion that someone out there could complete me. He’d fix my brokenness, heal my wounds, and never leave me. And for 14 years, I’ve crumbled as these insecurities led me to raise the bar higher than humanly possible. No one was good enough for me.

Not even me.

Strike two.

You’re a Creative. I can see it in your angst; in the way you string your words. And you’re afraid… afraid that you could get paid for everything going on [in your brain].

-My Creative Director

My career has not been normal, and is 100% a gift from God.

First of all, I don’t have formal education. I had a few mentors who believed in and promoted me—no interview and no portfolio. I got both my jobs through an art director/college friend who had an instinct about me, and I’ve won almost every assignment I’ve pitched.

Finally, in my first year as a copywriter, I got promoted to a senior role at a booming agency, worked with the brightest minds in the field, and made an impact for both the Super Bowl and Toyota.

The advertising world is competitive. It takes time to become a copywriter. You’re not just going to walk into an agency and suddenly do work for the Super Bowl.

-A guest speaker at my ads class

If this were an episode of Girls or SATC, I’d be strutting in stilletos with my gal pals and clinking glasses to our success. Truthfully, many nights have seen this scene. And yet, despite being fruitful in my career, I never felt 100% fulfilled.

Strike three.

Read Part 2 to see just where striking out has led me.


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